Greetings, my fair lovelies! I hope the past week has treated you well, that you found something new to smile about, and you got all the hugs your little heart desired!
For this week’s post, I figured it was about time to bring up the elephant in the room.
(Painting by Jen Callahan)
I…I like to write. *gasps* Shocker, right? Yeah, yeah, you already knew. You mind reader, you! Well, how about we go deeper then? How about we talk about…first manuscripts? *gasps again* Mind you, I’m no writing genius and can openly say that grammar is ever the thorn in my side, but who knows! Maybe there is a tiny nugget of encouragement you can pull away from this. If not, I hope you at least get a smile out of it.
When I started drafting my first novel, I thought it was gonna be easy. That’s right, I thought at one point THAT WRITING WAS EASY! Ridiculousness! Naturally, I found it to be quite the opposite. So, skip forward, and I finished my first draft. I was on top of the world and that was it. I was donzo! Story complete!
(Picture is not of me 😉 )
Yeah, right. I still remember the first time my CP (who is still my go to gal, AMAZING editor, and a complete goddess btw) called me and demanded we have a sit down over a stack of IHOP pancakes. Come to find out, she hadn’t even made it halfway through when she had to stop! Yeah, it was THAT BAD! But, she had the guts to tell me and that I will always respect. Her feedback led to my first round of revisions, which focused on everything from characters suddenly switching features to vast jumps in time, and everything else in between. Yeah, it was a hot mess. But those first edit notes she gave me changed the course of my writing! From there I did four, yes FOUR, more rounds of edits on my own and then jumped into the querying trenches. That’s when I found out just how much more that story still needed.
But from there it got messy. I wish I had known from the start, and truly accepted it as fact, that rejections can and are incredibly subjective. I made the mistake with my first book of taking to heart EVERY bit of rejection and revising based off it. What I got? A huge pile of garbled dung. PLEASE, don’t get me wrong! Professional feedback is INCREDIBLY important and a HUGE blessing when you receive it! My personal mistake was that I read between the lines far too often, and tried to jam what I thought others wanted into my story, and lost my own vision in the process. Long story short (literally lol) this here is the only bit in my entire first story that I feel has some value:
“From the ashes of forgotten men,
came the wrathful Ancient Lores.
Their bodies woven of humanities sins,
and rotten fleshy cores.
One night they crept where children wept for their fallen sons and daughters,
and in this grief secured a thief the waking world had smothered.
A pact of blood and shattered bone befell the mourning daughter,
and on her back the world would track through the open doors of slaughter.
So fight and flee the sleeping key and the beasts that claw and tear,
For they will not cease ‘till their souls release, restoring their rightful heir.”
That, out of 90,000 words (NINETY THOUSAND) is the only bit I can say I am truly proud of. However, that story still remains the story of my heart. Not only did it teach me about myself and my weaknesses, but it remains an active inspiration! If it weren’t for that story, I would have never made it to my second, third, or fourth manuscript. Without that learning process, I’d have never learned how much I love the writing process. EVERY. SINGLE. SPECK. OF. IT. That story brought my soul to life! I’ll be honest, when I finished it and shelved it, I thought I would never love again. I truly believed that.
But then, one glorious rainy day, I fell in love once more! From there, it’s only gone upwards and forwards. So, if you take anything from this week’s post, let it be this: you WILL love again. Inspiration doesn’t run dry. Your mind won’t let you down, though sometimes it feels like it will. Keep your head up and your heart willing and you will find your spark once again! I promise you!
Until next time, keep it writerly, lovelies!